Cover Image: Girl in the Walls

Girl in the Walls

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Member Reviews

Absolutely great book! Completely different to anything I’ve read previously but I have absolutely loved it 

Full review to follow on publication day
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A sincere thank you to the publisher, author and Netgalley for providing me with an ebook copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

This is not my usual genre,  however I wanted to take the opportunity to read something from outside my norm. And I am glad I did!! Thank you for  opening up my mind to something totally different. Characters were so well developed that I felt as though I knew them. I love when a book draws you into the story and it feels like you are living it with them.
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Interesting read, though not the supernatural story I was expecting.  Rather sad though.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my review.
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My word! What a page turner this turned into! I stayed up late last night finishing this unusual novel. 
This is not my usual type of fiction but the synopsis intrigued me. The story unfolds slowly at first as you get to know the characters and leaves you guessing as to the girl herself, why she's there and whether she is actually in the walls of the house or not. It has mystery and a definite gothic feel to it.
Once the boys living in the house put in motion attempts to discover her, the pace of the book ignites and it becomes more of a thriller, full of menace. I couldn't put it down until I reached the end and discovered what happens to Elise. 
Loved it!
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This is just as it sounds only so much more. Elise loses her parents in a car crash, she stays one night in foster care and then moves in between the walls of an old property that was once her home. There she feels safe, it’s a much needed embrace, a connection to her parents so she doesn’t entirely lose them and she searches the house when it’s empty for signs of them. The Mason family now occupy it - parents Nick and Laura and brothers Eddie and Marshall. The unfolding story is one of the most creative and original books I have read in a long time and I loved it!

This really is a “Literary Thriller” and is a unique way of examining survival and coping with grief. The descriptions are incredibly vivid, the house feels alive as do the objects in it. An intense atmosphere is created through this, in addition to the weather, nature and Norse Mythology which Elise reads to pass the solitary hours. I love how Odin, the One Eye, keeps that eye on her and the delicious humour of him talking to her! That is also poignant and sad too as she’s alone although she is sensed by Eddie and later Marshall and befriended by a delightful boy, Brodie. The brothers are interesting characters as through what occurs, two divided brothers become close and bond. As the story builds so does the tension which is really powerful as Elise becomes hunted. This is horrible to read about as you become invested in her survival and she, the boys and the house face terrible danger. There are some truly jaw dropping moments which threatens the characters with the addition of a huge tropical storm. It’s creepy in places and a bit supernatural as even the trees are watching events in the house, suspended as if with baited breath waiting for something to happen. It does and how. 

Overall, this is such a well written book. I love the short sharp chapters which works so well in building the story. It’s very original and is a most compelling atmospheric story of survival. I love the way it ends as it fits perfectly. Highly recommended. 

With thanks to NetGalley and 4th Estate for the much appreciated ARC for an honest review.
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Someone recently commented I have an eclectic taste in books and when I came across this title I realised I probably haven’t ever read anything gothic. Well, it seems I have a reputation to uphold and so, here we are.

“Those who live in the walls must adjust, must twist themselves around in their home,
stretching themselves until they’re as thin as air. Not everyone can do what they can.
But soon enough, they can’t help themselves. Signs of their presence remain in a house.
Eventually, every hidden thing is found.”

Elise knows every inch of the house. She knows which boards will creak, where the gaps are in the walls. She knows which parts can take her in, hide her away. It’s home, after all. The home her parents made for her. And home is where you stay, no matter what.

Eddie calls the same house his home. Eddie is almost a teenager now. He must no longer believe in the girl he sometimes sees from the corner of his eye. He needs her to disappear. But when his older brother senses her, too, they are faced with a question: how do they get rid of someone they aren’t sure even exists?
And, if they cast her out, what other threats might they invite in?

I’m not sure where to begin without giving away any spoilers. This is a dark tale of grief, loss, and the need to belong. To hide in plain sight and to be home. To force yourself to grow up when you are still a child.

It is eerily captivating, so much so that I had to abandon reading at night and only read through the sunlit hours of the day, lest I have nightmares.

The prose is delightfully lyrical, with an aura of magic, mystery, perhaps even a hint of fantasy. The story is incredibly emotional, engulfing you in the protagonist’s dilemma. It is unlike anything I have read in a long, long time and if you believe you have the stomach for something unusual, I urge you give this a shot.

This ARC courtesy of Netgalley and 4th Estate Books.
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I received a free copy from Netgalley to review, here is the blurb:

"Elise knows every inch of the house. She knows which boards will creak. She knows where the gaps are in the walls. She knows which parts can take her in, hide her away. It’s home, after all. The home her parents made for her. And home is where you stay, no matter what.

Eddie calls the same house his home. Eddie is almost a teenager now. He must no longer believe in the girl he sometimes sees from the corner of his eye. He needs her to disappear. But when his older brother senses her, too, they are faced with a question: how do they get rid of someone they aren’t sure even exists?

And, if they cast her out, what other threats might they invite in?"

When I first read the blurb I was excited and expecting a ghost story and couldn't wait to start it.  It got off to a slow start, and to be honest didn't really pick up the pace at all.  I hate giving bad reviews,, and don't want to here as I can see other people have loved this book.  Without giving away the story line, the book did not develop the way I was expecting, I found it difficult to finish as it didn't keep me engaged., and I found the ending disappointing.  I know this isn't a bad book, as I have said, it has lot's of good reviews.  It just was not for me, as I was expecting more of a horror novel. which I tend to read.  Basically, it you are reading this book based on the presumption this is a horror novel you might be advised to give this a miss..
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The sad but creepy story about a young girl who has lost her parents. 
She sneaks back into her old house and stays hidden from the family who live there now by staying in the walls. When the house is empty she can move about and make herself at home, until someone starts to notice her.
Thank you to NetGalley and 4th Estate and William Collins for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Just finished this unique book that drew me right in.Chilling with twists and turns characters that come alive .A book that is so different then what Inusually read so good so mind bending Incould not put it down.Will be recommending.#netgalley#4thestate
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I honestly, literally, do not know how to write a review for this book... 
2 or 3 stars? I couldn’t tell if it was meant to be middle grade or older for a long while. I don’t mind reading middle grade at all, I just couldn’t tell what it was until much later on in the story.  It’s not middle grade.  
I loved the sound of this book which is why I requested it from Netgalley, and I wanted to know what happened so I read it all, so that’s a good thing.  It just didn’t.... something.  It was weird in many ways... some, I guess, intentional, others I’m not so sure.  Weird is a good way to describe the book in general I think.
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When I first read the blurb of this book, I thought it was about a ghost, but it surprised me by being something a little different and more unusual than that. Elise is a girl who really does live in the walls of a home - one that used to be hers until a life changing event. Now she lives alongside a family, unknown to them, and follows their lives intimately whilst still trying to cling onto the fragments of her own. It’s a beautiful exploration of grief, loneliness and change in a young girl’s life but in some ways I also found the concept a bit unbelievable, and I’m not sure I completely enjoyed the read as a result. 

My thanks to #NetGalley and 4th Estate for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. This book will be out on the 4th March in the UK.

#bookstagram #bookreviews #booklove  #GirlintheWalls #AJGnuse
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Elise is not an ordinary girl. She lives in walls, she takes every nook and cranny in the house she calls a home. But in this house also live a family of four. Can they see her, feel her?

Such a mistery. And somehow both, creepy and sad.
Totally different kind of book, I loved it.
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Elise was the sole witness to her parents' tragic death. She is orphaned, homeless and, with no near-by family to come to her aid, is transported to a temporary foster home. She doesn't make it through the night there.

Elise knows exactly where she needs to be. Her childhood home beckons to her and she finds her way inside its inviting walls, flitting from shadowed alcove to dusty floor space and attic hidey hole, whilst its new occupants remain oblivious to her presence. 

I was anticipating this to be a chilling, autumnal read but instead found this to be a largely sorrowful tale, rather than a Gothic one. I liked it no less for that, but did find much of the narrative concerned with adding bones to the particulars already vaguely detailed in the synopsis, before more grit and tension was introduced. This, again, made for slower-paced but not an unlikable reading experience.
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This book had a gothic style to it, which had me intrigued. Have you ever thought you can hear the creek of a floor board upstairs whist in the house alone and you are downstairs? What if someone is actually living in your walls, you can’t see them and the noises they make are just put down to “old house” noises?
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Where do you go when your parents are killed in a car crash and you have no immediate family? Where do you feel most safe? The new house your parents have just moved to, or the old one, the one you have most memories in, the one that might still hold remnants of your parents, the odd sock fallen and lost into the places no one thinks to look?

Elise is eleven. She remembers how to get into the house and she finds her way into the walls. A new family live there now. A couple with two boys, the youngest, Eddie, almost two years older than her. He is quiet, considered odd because, amongst other things, he doesn’t like the sounds people make when they eat and has his supper apart from his family. He doesn’t tell them about the lego figure that moved inside his carefully constructed castle, or the books that go missing for days. His big brother thinks playing with lego is lame, that he needs to grow up, to stop being so weird. 

The brothers don’t get on, but slowly it becomes clear there is one subject upon which they can agree. They are both certain there is someone else inside their house, moving about, stealing their pop tarts. Their parents won’t believe them, so what are they going to do about it? Will Eddie be man enough to tackle the problem?

There are so many facets to this novel that even though the plot grips and drags you along, it isn’t hard to put yourself in the shoes of every different character. You can imagine longing for the safety of an old house, or lying awake afraid you can hear someone breathing just the other side of the wall, or being a happy-go-lucky, brave and lonely kid who likes to explore other peoples’ houses when they’re out and takes a strange girl in his stride. Even the villain who spends his days in internet chat rooms, obsessed with an old tormentor he knew was living in his house as a kid, feels believable, human, pathologically disturbed but understandable. All of them ready to have their lives exposed by a storm.

Out early next year, Girl in the Walls is a fast-paced read that exposes some of our social cracks. Children can be lost, ignored, pressured by social and gendered stereotypes. Finding a safe home isn’t always easy.
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I loved the minuscule details of this novel most of all... the descriptions of the world inside the walls, the sounds of the living house, the flashes of Elise in the corner of everyone's eyes. This is a gripping book and had me conflicted the whole time. I wanted Elise to stay hidden for her own good... but the plot made it so that she could not. This is a well crafted novel with a pacy, readable plot. You will love it!
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When I first heard about ‘Girl in the Walls’ and its premise, I’ve been immediately intrigued. The premise is so unique – the book promises a ghost-like gothic tale, and it certainly delivers this aspect. At moments literary, at moments fast-paced almost thriller, ‘Girl in the Walls’ remains on the verge of supernatural. 

A. J. Gnuse’s ‘Girl in the Walls’ is so unique, and I have not read a similar book so far. Though there have been moments – in the first half of the book – where I have almost wished that the actions sped up, you get to know the characters and the setting very well before you get engrossed into the action in the latter half. 

‘Girl in the Walls’ follows Elise, who used to live in the house that now belongs to a different family. Knowing the house, her home, better than its current occupants she hides in the plain sight, staying in the walls when the family is in the house, and appearing when they are gone or asleep to wander through the rooms and get food. Throughout the book, it becomes obvious that she’s lonely and she’s longing for a human connection. She’s less careful than she should if she wants to remain undiscovered, and she knows it, but small and bigger proofs of her existence in the house are left to be noticed by two brothers living in the house. 

Without spoiling the ending, I really loved it – so many things remained unsaid. Not everything was sorted, not everything was resolved, and not all questions were answered. It left me wanting more, but it also made the ending feel more real and more fitting to the whole story.

‘Girl in the Walls’ has a mysterious and at moments creepy element to it, but above all, it’s a story about finding yourself following a loss, grieving, and carrying on. I have enjoyed A. J. Gnuse’s style, and I’m looking forward to more of their works.
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I loved the look of this book, even though I’m not much of a horror book fan. But wow, I actually really enjoyed it! I devoured the second half of it in one day, and it even had me scared of my own shadow on one occasion! 

The story is mostly all told from Elise’s point of view. From the start, you’re not really sure if she is alive or dead, a ghostly figure roaming the house, or... an actual child? It keeps you guessing for a while. She creeps around, inside the walls of the house, being as quiet as she can so no one figures out that she is there.

I liked Elise, she seemed like she was very young, but had an older mind. She knew how to do things a child wouldn’t, knew when to hold her breath as someone was just on the other side of the wall, knew when she could sneak out without being seen. The Mason family live in the house, Laura and Nick, and their boys Marshall and Eddie. I didn’t get on with Marshall for the first half of the book, a typical teenage boy, does what he wants and doesn’t like it if he doesn’t get his own way. Eddie I related to slightly. I know the book never mentioned Eddie having any sort of disability, but I picked up on a lot of autistic traits there. The boys relationship with each other seemed very true though, not fictional at all, getting annoyed with each for things I know my kids would too.

The book seemed to get quite dark and scary towards the end, and had me on the edge of my seat wondering about Mr Traust, and what was going to happen next!

All in all, I liked this, and would happily recommend it to others.
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The thought of a human body wandering around inside the walls of my house, creeping out when I’m not there to eat my cereal, and to use my bathroom, is something just far too sinister to imagine. Those little house-settling noises actually being made by a hidden being? Unfathomable. Gnuse has found an excellent premise here.

We soon find out the girl’s reason for being within the walls, and her story is heartbreaking one. Gnuse comments on bereavement, of letting go, and of accepting reality, no matter how difficult it is to bear.

As Gnuse’s narrative never strays from the four walls of the house, the plot begins to feel oppressive, making us feel shut in. I felt this mirrored how the girl would feel - a tight and claustrophobic feeling of isolation which never dissipated throughout the pages. It was an incredibly sensory use of setting.

Sadly, nothing really happens here. After being introduced to the girl, and the family living in the house, there are a few near misses where she’s almost discovered, and a couple of frightening scenes, and that’s all. The characters were pretty flat; I would’ve liked more depth to their personalities - why were the brothers the way they were? Why was the girl so determined to live there? Nothing was really reinforced enough for me, and it led to feelings of detachment.

Generally, this is a fairly quick read with merit in its setting and writing style. If you’re looking for a fast-paced thriller, this isn’t the one - I waited for a heartstopping twist which never came. But if you’re seeking something which explores the human mind and body, and to marvel at the things they can allow us to do under pressure, you should definitely pick this one up.
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As the title suggests, Girl in the Wall is about a family of four and the girl that secretly lives in the walls of their house.

This book was sometimes creepy, sometimes heart-wrenching, but all the while beautiful. I loved the author's way of describing things, of capturing those thoughts we have and putting them on the page. Though the concept (a literal girl living in the walls of a family home) is chilling, Gnuse explores feelings of grief, of growing older, of dealing with all that life gives you.

In other words, I came for the creepy concept and stayed for the beautiful exploration of human existence.

Would highly recommend giving it a read.
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